Maritime museum set to open in 2010


BRUNEI'S first maritime museum in Kota Batu is expected to be launched by 2010, following the completion of the building this year.

Acting Director of Museums Department Bantong Antaran said that the maritime museum will enable locals and foreign visitors to understand the importance of Brunei as a centre for maritime trade during the ancient times.

"It is hoped that this would develop a sense of responsibility and awareness among the visitors to appreciate the country's cultural heritage," he told The Brunei Times yesterday.

He further said that the museum aims to attract more foreign visitors and maritime enthusiasts to the Sultanate. The museum will house three galleries that would be dedicated to all aspects with regards to the emergence of the maritime sector in Brunei, said Brunei Museum Manager Matzin Hj Yahya, in a telephone interview.

"There are three galleries in which the first gallery would display various artifacts that would explain the historical linkage between mankind and the sea," said Matzin.

"The second gallery will showcase Brunei's ancient trade routes within the region, as well as the various shipwrecks found in waters surrounding Brunei, while another aspect of lifestyle of people in Kampong Ayer will be displayed in the third gallery," he added.

The handing over of the key to the acting director of the museum is expected to take place sometime later this month in a grand celeberation,

said Matzin who is a maritime archaeology officer attached to the Brunei Museum.

"It will take us some time to set up the exhibition as extensive research needs to be conducted," he said, adding that the building is of a modern architecture.

Project manager and architect of the project, Hj Sabri Hj Abdul Hamid from Probuilder Sdn Bhd stated that the maritime museum began its construction in December of 2006 and was successfully completed in 21 months.

"Besides the three galleries, the museum has a laboratory room for archaeologists to do their research," said Hj Sabri, adding that there would be a VIP room and a surau. (JQR1)

The Brunei Times

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